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San Joaquin Kit Fox Vulpes macrotis mutica


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San Joaquin Kit Fox
© B. Moose Peterson/U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Family: Canidae, Dogs view all from this family

Description A very small, large-eared, leggy fox. Pale tan to yellowish-buff above, turning grayish in winter; whitish below. Tail black-tipped. Feet light-colored. Ears large, triangular, set close together. Dark marks below eye. Ht 9-12" (23-30 cm); L 2431" (6080 cm); T 911 3/4" (2330 cm); E 3 1/83 1/4" (7.98.4 cm); Wt 3 1/8-5 lb (1.42.3 kg).

Endangered Status The San Joaquin Kit Fox, a subspecies of the Kit Fox, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in California. Before the 1800s, the grasslands of California were second in size only to the Great Plains. Today only 1 percent of the state's native grasslands remains. The San Joaquin Kit Fox is a grassland and scrubland inhabitant and has suffered from the modification of these habitats. Industry, development, and various types of agriculture (in the forms of row crops, orchards, vineyards, and livestock forage) have taken over many of these lands. Suitable remaining habitats are fragmented, meaning the foxes occur in small and isolated populations. These small numbers make the everyday dangers of life in the modern-day wild -- predators, starvation, flooding or drought, poaching, automobiles -- even more significant than they are in a healthy and widespread population.

Habitat Scrub, grasslands, brushlands, dry meadows.

Range San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills, California.